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A better way to Shim...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by cessna928, May 1, 2010.

  1. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    Does anyone know of a better way to ship a neck than just stuffing a little piece of business card in it. Maybe using filler or something? I'm just curious. I used a piece of thin plastic to do mine and it worked just fine, but I can't get past the half-ass feeling it gives me to stuff a piece of "Bob's Real estate" business card under a neck. I'm not knocking it, just trying to see if there's a better way.
  2. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    I like mesh style drywall sandpaper...looks like screen.
    Grips very tight in the neck pocket
  3. Doesn't bother me at all. A business card under compression is darn solid - and if it's my biz card and the bass gets stolen, who knows - some day it might go to a repair shop and end up coming back!
  4. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I cut masking tape to 1/8" strips.. this way they stay solid in the desired place.. can't tell you how many shims I've seen going zillions of ways.

  5. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    You can buy very thin metal stock & snip out the portion you want - I'd probably go with brass or steel for this app. (Haven't bothered doing this for a bass neck yet but I had to fab a shim for a motorcycle sub-frame and it was easy.)

    Poke or drill holes and put it around the neck bolts and it won't be going anywhere. Or just use a dab of Scotch tape to prevent unwanted migration while the bolts are loosened.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I've used beer can aluminum for neck and nut shims. Its not superior to any of the aforementioned materials but its a heckuva lot more fun purging the contents in preparation.

  7. 1/8, 1/4, or 3/8" wide strips of veneer. Is veneer the "best"? I don't know, but veneer looks pro IMO.

    That's wood veneers, maple, oak, burl, and exotic lightly glued in with Titebond
  8. I popped the neck on my Ibanez P-clone to shim it and found a piece of circuit board- probably the thickness of 5 or 6 cards.
  9. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've had excellent results with the usual card shims and I never use tape or anything I feel could deteriorate with age. Which is why I generally try to use real brass shim stock if I can.

    The only problem I have is that then I feel guilty because I know that the "traditional" bass shim is a matchbook cover from some dive bar... :bag:
  10. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    I do my best to avoid bass and guitars that need a shim. But when I have shimmed a neck. Ive used folded qaulity paper to desired thickness (least amount that'll work) with a little bit of elmers glue on it. No more then 1/4 wide and cut to fit all the way back in neck pocket. Reasoning being that is closer to wood in the end then plastic bussiness card. Of course paper bussiness card is fine. The little bit of elmers glue to help hold it in place while reattaching and rebolting neck.

    Bassteban...> And that wasnt too much shimming? Egads thats horrible neck pocket to the extreme. If you like the bass I think Id see about haveing a luthier put a thin sheet of wood veneer in whole pocket thats slightly thinner at end and slightly thicker at furthest back of neck pocket. As is theres way to much gap between bottom of neck and most of the neck pocket imo. 5-6 bussiness cards thick and still not enough, sad sad sad.
  11. cessna928


    Mar 1, 2009
    Kentucky USA
    Circuit board? That is a monster shim!

    I like the copper shim stock idea, sounds kinda classy. But, I'm probably just gonna keep shimming with whatever's laying around, MacGuyver style.

    Thanks for the tips everybody.
  12. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've used masking tape as a shim material since 1970, especially for my stairstep tapered shims. Works fine.

    If I want a flat full-pocket shim I'll usually use a piece of thin stock of solid basswood or birch ply from a hobby shop. I've also used a piece of G10 in the past.
  13. Has anybody ever considered shaving down the heel of the neck at an angle, so that it sits differently in the pocket?I know it would be a pain in the arse to to remove so little and keep it straight and flat, but I think it could be done, maybe holding it in a vice or some improvised jig. Just sand it until you've taken a small amount off the nut end, tapering down to nothing on the bridge end.
  14. THIS!!!!!!!!

    The man is a genius, I tells ya - a genius!!! :hyper:

    If I were making a $10,000 instrument maybe I'd do this. But the mind boggles at the number of assemblies and disassemblies that would be required...and hitting the neck with 4 reps sanding - and over, and over. And when you're done, remember that the neck can STILL shift...at which point you're back to shimming it.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    this is the "better way"; not so much the masking tape (which is fine) but the idea of stairstepping the shims from thick to thin so that the entire area is supported.

    i'll do it with bits of veneer and/or metal shim stock of varying thicknesses, using a straightedge to place them so that the middle of the neck pocket is supported. usually just one support shim in the middle does the trick, allowing for tight screw-clamping while not forcing the neck to ramp-up over time.

    a little spot of superglue to hold them in place before putting the neck back on helps.
  16. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    best shim ever,.. 10mil PVC pipe wrap!!! its made of rubber and bonds well with a great compression potential for resonance transfer. i used two layers on my MIM jbass and now its perfect. it comes in 10mil x 2" x 10ft.
  17. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I played around with brass shims once thinking there would be a difference in sustain and there was not

    Paper shims was good enough for Fender on what are now vintage intruments

    (note to self: find bus cards from the 50's and sell on ebay as vintage Fender Strat neck shims for $10 ea.)
  18. i always have it in 3 grits(thickness varies of course) so it's a`320 shim or a 150 shim or an 80,i cut a strip about a quarter inch wide similar to what i've found from manufaturers setups

    i'd recomend not super torquing the screws towards the nut as tight as humanly possible if you use a thick shim towards the bridge because it seems like it will start to give it `the kick' people talk about witch i've experienced,,hey i'm nobody but i have had some cheapdog basses i tortured as well as ones i bought new that were problematic,,living he!!?,,,they dry out,they absorb moisture,it's something i stay on all the time(setup)
  19. thought i'd jump back on this because>>>i'm curious about shimming the whole neck up on a fretless,the saddles are on the deck on the E and G(outer ends) it would be nice to have some adjustment and the screws stick out so far they hook on the inside of my gig-bags on ALL the saddles,heck i might get a nick in my fingernail poilish:D

    anybody utilise a Warmoth gasket type `shim' like i've seen on a well known auction site?
  20. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    you'd need a huge full-length flat shim to get the results that you could get with no more than a business card or two at one end.

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